Saturday, 4 February 2012

Learning from Lenny... Post #1

Parents of students in Division 5, you may have heard the students talk about Lenny and might be wondering who is "Lenny"?  

Lenny is in grade 10 who attends Steveston-London Secondary School. He is part of the “Spectrum” enrichment program at the school.  The Spectrum program is designed for enriched learning and assigns each student a project called the Enrichment Exploration Project (EnEx). This project starts in grade 8 and continues until grade 10.  The purpose of the EnEx project is to explore students' passions  outside of school and learn invaluable life lessons. This year, the EnEx project consists of finding a mentor, meeting with the mentor a number of times, observing the mentor, and then designing a project to do based on what he has learned from observing. The project is supposed to be a mini version of the mentor’s job. 

Lenny's passion was education and he decided that he wanted to learn more about what it meant to be a teacher and through his project he hopes to explore all of the many roles of a teacher.   He posted that he was looking for a mentor on Richnet (Richmond Educators site) and I offered to be of assistance.   So far Lenny has spent 1 and half full days in the class.   He has observed, asked questions, engaged with students, assisted in lessons, and this week he took his first endeavour at teaching.   

What I discovered is that Lenny is a naturally born teacher!   Given the fact that he is a Grade 10 student and has not been formally taught how to teach, I was astounded with his immense knowledge of what makes an effective educator.   Last week I gave him a book called Polygons and told him that I would like him to read it to the class and if he wished, he could try to plan and teach a follow up activity.   During the course of the week, he emailed me his ideas for the lesson and to my surprise his lesson needed no tweaking.   It met the objectives of investigating polygons, was highly interactive and engaging, students were to work collaboratively, and he even included a worksheet that he would use for assessment!   I must meet Lenny's teachers as Lenny's first lesson was equal to and surpassed many first lessons I have seen beginning teacher candidates create.   Not sure exactly what they are doing over there in the Spectrum Program, but given the results of their students (example of Lenny) is it highly effective!

Below are some picture of the book he read, the worksheet he created, an images of the students actively seeking the polygons during their "shape hunt" with a partner.  

I am very much looking forward to my ongoing relationship with Lenny.   I have a strong feeling that he is going to teach me as much as I will teach him.   He will be returning next week to investigate 3-D shapes with my class.  

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